Which is better for blues a 4 string or 5 string?
Also if you build a cigar box guitar(4 string) is the scale length the same for a banjo? IF so then is it a question of its tuning that determines its a banjo?
I am a blues player but have fallen under the sway of banjos as of late.......lol
I know very little about banjos and have been looking to buy one but would prefer to build one like my CBG's. Any pointers?
I play the banjo so will try to offer some input. I started off playing three finger Scrugg's style for about 2 years and switched over to clawhammer for the past 2.5 years.
I think the 4 string banjo would be better for blues, but you can do the same on a 5 string. The 5th string is just a drone and is not normally fretted anyway and starts further up the neck. If you already have a 5 string just remove the 5th string. I've started trying to play blues on the tenor banjo after stumbling upon this site and seeing a video by Keni Lee Burgess on the 4 string Cigar Box Guitar tuned DGBD. This is same tuning normally as on the 5 string string banjo excluding the 5th string drone string so is perfect. A tenor/plectrum 4 string banjo can also be tune to DGBD.
I'm not sure of the scale length on a CBG, but it looks similar to a tenor banjo scale or "A-scale banjo" which I believe is about 2 frets shorter then a normal banjo. Not sure of the second part of your question. A lot of Old Time clawhammer banjo players use different tunings such as Double C (gCDCD), Sawmill (cDGCD), etc. I would probably stick with Open G (DBGD) for now.
The Deering Goodtime banjo is a good affordable banjo to start off with.